A smile is one of the simplest gestures that we can make, but it can also be one of the biggest. A bright smile is considered a reflection of friendliness, honesty, happiness, and health.
An attractive smile can be beneficial in social situations, help attract a partner and also make you more confident and outgoing. We are bombarded with pictures of celebrities flashing mega-watt grins, which unfortunately cause many people to feel self-conscious about their own smile.
The enamel covering the teeth can become stained over time for a number of reasons. The fix for this is teeth whitening, which is considered to be one of the easiest and most economical ways of enhancing the appeal of your smile.
Reasons for tooth discoloration
White teeth are universally considered to be more youthful due to the fact that infant/first teeth are almost always whiter than their adult counterparts.
Adult teeth can become stained or discolored over time due to:
Smoking – one of the biggest contributors to yellowed teeth!
The use of antibiotics as a child/teenager
Exposure to high levels of fluoride
Food or drinks that contain tannins such as oranges,
carrots, red wine, and coffee
Trauma to the tooth
Damage to nerve or blood vessels inside the root canal
Genetics – the thickness of the enamel covering your teeth is usually determined by genetics. Thinner enamel can often show the color of the dentin beneath it, giving the tooth a darker appearance.
Aging – our teeth naturally darken as we get older
Can’t I just use an over-the-counter teeth whitener?
There are dozens of products on the market that claim to be able to improve the whiteness of your smile without you needing to visit the dentist. However, over the counter products are simply not able to provide the same strength of whitening as professional-grade treatments that your dentist is able to offer. Not only are the results usually only mediocre, but they also fade quicker and usually require more treatments.
We recommend that you at least have the first treatment performed by a dentist who is qualified in providing teeth whitening procedures.
Dental whitening is a painless procedure, but one that may require several visits to your dentist in order to achieve the final color results you desire. During your consultation visit, your dentist will likely photograph your teeth to provide a starting point for comparison so that he/she can effectively monitor the progress of your treatment. Your dentist will then perform a thorough examination to ensure that no other treatment is required ahead of the whitening process as well as ask you a number of questions to get to the cause of the discoloration.
Next, your dentist or dental hygienist will give your teeth a thorough cleaning to remove any residue or bacteria that may prevent the whitening process from working properly.
In-office Philips Zoom! Teeth Whitening
With Philips Zoom in-office whitening, you can unlock a smile up to 8 shades whiter! The added bonus? You get outstanding results with little to no sensitivity. Zoom! in-office whitening treatment will take your smile from drab to fab in just one office visit. Now, we know what you’re thinking: what about all of those over-the-counter brands of teeth whitening? The fact of the matter is you never know how long those have been sitting on the shelf. With Zoom! teeth whitening, you can be certain you are receiving full-strength bleaching gel that is professionally applied.
ZOOM! Whitening Treatment Process
At Sand Lake Dental, the road to a whiter smile is really quite short. Once you’re comfortably seated in the exam chair wearing protective eyewear, we’ll get to work making your smile brighter. After your teeth are cleaned and polished, we protect your delicate gum tissue with a rubberized dam. Then, we apply the proprietary Zoom! whitening gel. A concentrated laser is focused on your teeth to activate and speed the bleaching agents in the gel. If necessary, we can reapply the gel a second or third time to achieve the best results possible. At the end of your Zoom! whitening appointment, the smile you see in the mirror will make quite an impression on you!
Teeth whitening is a very safe procedure and is unlikely to cause serious side effects. However, you may find that your gums and teeth are a little more sensitive for a short time after the procedure. Even though this is a relatively safe procedure, not enough is known about the effect of teeth whitening on unborn babies, and as such, pregnant women should refrain from having their teeth whitened until after delivery.
Unfortunately, teeth whitening is not a one-off procedure, but the speed with which the whiteness will fade will vary depending on a range of factors including whether or not you smoke and if you consume a lot of stain-causing foods and drinks. If these are regular habits for you, then you could see the whiteness begin to fade in as little as six weeks after your procedure. However, if you avoid stain-inducing activities and maintain a rigorous oral care regime, then you may not require another teeth whitening procedure for six to twelve months after your initial treatment.